Msg from The Obama Diary: Genuine bloggers who create their own posts are welcome to use anything from TOD – rebloggers, who only copy others in an attempt to up their traffic, are not. Like the reblogger who treats women like this – explicit – while copying TOD posts on women’s rights. He belongs in the GOP.
President Obama arrives back at the White House, August 29
Thank you Sosena
Washington Post: President Obama used some of his toughest language yet against rival Mitt Romney today, accusing the Republican’s campaign of bragging that “we will not let the truth get in the way.”
Speaking to an outdoor crowd of 7,500 in downtown Charlottesville, Obama said Romney and his campaign have not told the truth in TV ads accusing the president of ending the work requirement in landmark welfare reform legislation that was passed in the 1990s.
“Somebody was challenging one of their ads,” Obama said. “They just they made it up about work and welfare. And every outlet said this was just not true. They were asked about it, and a campaign person said, we won’t have the fact checkers dictate our campaign plan. We will not let the truth get in the way.”
Comedian Bill Maher announced last night that he will donate one million dollars to President Obama’s re-election campaign. At the end of his groundbreaking comedy special, “CrazyStupidPolitics: Live from Silicon Valley,” which streamed live on Yahoo!, Bill brought out a check, making a personal donation of one million dollars to Obama’s Super PAC, Priorities USA Action. He explained that having a country governed by Barack Obama rather than any of the Republican candidates is “worth a million dollars” and that in his own financial interests, “this is the wisest investment I think I could make.” He also encouraged other wealthy liberals to do the same and give until it hurts.
Washington Post (Editorial): Run to the extreme in the primary, move to the center in the fall: That’s expected. But moving from the cartoon world the Republican presidential candidates have constructed back into three dimensions might prove more difficult.
In their debate Wednesday night, the remaining candidates seemed to be continuing their drift from reality – the reality of a center-right electorate they propose to woo and govern, and of the complexities of the problems they promise to solve.
…. From his perch of thorough hypocrisy – Paul is a master earmarker who preserves his purity by voting against appropriations bills he knows will pass – the Texas congressman declared: “I don’t accept that form of government.”
And, of Santorum, “He is a fake.” No, what’s fake is the two-dimensional canvas they’re presenting to voters.
TPM: Mitt Romney’s got a problem. Purple Strategies released their “Purple Poll” on Thursday, data from twelve swing states … “His favorable ratings are just atrocious,” Doug Usher, a managing partner at Purple Strategies said. “You can’t be sitting on 27 percent favorability in the general,” the level Romney is at in their new numbers.
“The best thing that Mitt Romney could actually do is actually run a campaign that said something,” Bruce Haynes, one of the founding partners of Purples Strategies and a veteran of GOP campaigns, told TPM. “It’s a Seinfeld campaign. It’s a campaign about nothing….”
Robert Shrum: Mitt Romney is pandering so desperately to the far-right fringe that he’s become all but unelectable in November …. As he demonstrated in this debate, he’s so desperate to pander his way to the nomination that he’s making it increasingly worthless.
This may do for the primary – it may be essential – but it’s a disaster in the making for the fall campaign. Romney’s cynical hope has to be that his shape-shifting will convince voters he doesn’t really mean this stuff. He can pray that his character weakness is his saving grace – that his reputation for lying about his beliefs will pull him back from the edge of a gender gap that will otherwise pose an unbridgeable barrier to the White House. The longer the primaries drag on, and the more he has to profess his hostility to women’s rights, the less likely it is that he can ever convince the majority who are women to take a chance on him.
…. From Oklahoma to Ohio, which both vote on March 6, and then onto Wisconsin and across the Midwest, Romney is well behind Santorum in the polls. He will have to keep pandering – and above all, right now, he has to win Michigan.
In the Arizona debate, he may have staunched his bleeding in the primaries, but he opened his veins for November.
Martin Bashir: “Newt Gingrich said he’s going to take oil prices down to $2 or $2.50 – the only thing that Newt Gingrich is very skilled at doing is taking his underpants down in the form of the number of adulteries that this man commits.”
Steve Rattner (NYT): …. As a presidential aspirant, Mr. Romney evidently hasn’t felt a need to be consistent or specific as to what should have been done to address the collapse of the auto industry starting in late 2008. But the gist is that the government should have stayed on the sidelines and allowed the companies to go through what he calls “managed bankruptcies,” financed by private capital.
That sounds like a wonderfully sensible approach – except that it’s utter fantasy. In late 2008 and early 2009, when G.M. and Chrysler had exhausted their liquidity, every scrap of private capital had fled to the sidelines.
I know this because the administration’s auto task force, for which I was the lead adviser, spoke diligently to all conceivable providers of funds, and not one had the slightest interest in financing those companies on any terms. If Mr. Romney disagrees, he should come forward with specific names of willing investors in place of empty rhetoric. I predict that he won’t be able to, because there aren’t any.
A source tells National Confidential that 26 American cars will be arranged by the United Auto Workers to echo Mitt Romney’s infamous “let Detroit go bankrupt” op-ed when he visits Ford Field on Friday. The cars will be on top of a parking garage right across from Ford Field where Romney will be giving a speech to the Detroit Economic Club.
Steve Benen: The general trend on initial unemployment claims over the last few months has been largely encouraging, despite occasional setbacks, and most analysts expected this morning’s report to show a modest uptick in filings.
The good news is, that didn’t happen. In fact, initial jobless claims reached a four-year low last week, and the new totals were unchanged this week.
Greg Sargent: At yesterday’s debate, Mitt Romney and the other candidates went all in on birth control – sorry, “religious liberty” – in blasting President Obama over the contraception controversy…. But some new polling out this morning from Quinnipiac illustrates the risk Republicans are taking with this latest reprise of the culture wars:
President Obama recently announced an adjustment to the administration’s health-care rule regarding religiously affiliated employers providing birth control coverage to female employees. Women will still be guaranteed coverage for birth control without any out-of-pocket cost, but will have to seek the coverage directly from their insurance companies if their employers object to birth control on religious grounds. Do you approve or disapprove of President Obama’s decision?
Steve Benen: …… Romney added that Obama is “requiring the Catholic Church to provide for its employees and its various enterprises health care insurance that would include birth control, sterilization and the morning-after pill. Unbelievable.”
It is, in fact, literally “unbelievable,” since that’s not at all what the administration is doing.
It was painful enough to have so much of the debate focus on opposition to birth control, but Romney’s dishonesty managed to make a mind-numbing discussion even worse.
Ronald Brownstein (National Journal): ….. Some of Romney’s answers could come back to haunt him, not in the primary but in a general election, if he gets that far.
At a time when some Republicans are already concerned that he has narrowed his potential support among Latinos with an unflinching embrace of conservative positions on immigration (like “self-deportation”), Romney doubled down by insisting that on “day one” as president he would drop the federal legal challenge to Arizona’s tough state statute against illegal immigration.
And on the same day that an NBC/Marist poll already showed Romney trailing President Obama by 18 percentage points in Michigan, a state Republicans once hoped to contest this fall, Romney likewise doubled down on his criticism of the auto rescue engineered by Bush and Obama – and sprinkled in some especially sharp rhetoric against the United Auto Workers union for good measure.
E.J. Dionne: They say that President Obama is a Muslim, but if he isn’t, he’s a secularist who is waging war on religion. On some days he’s a Nazi, but on most others he’s merely a socialist….
Whatever our president is, he is never allowed to be a garden-variety American who plays basketball and golf, has a remarkably old-fashioned family life and, in the manner we regularly recommend to our kids, got ahead by getting a good education.
Please forgive this outburst. It’s simply astonishing that a man in his fourth year as our president continues to be the object of the most extraordinary paranoid fantasies … And now that the economy is improving, short-circuiting easy criticisms, Obama’s adversaries are reheating all the old tropes and cliches and slanders.
….. As for Obama as a socialist, ponder two numbers: 13,005, which the Dow Jones average hit this week, up from a low point of 6,547 in March 2009. Some socialist.
We are blessed with the freedom to say whatever we want about our president. But those who cast Obama as something other than one of us don’t understand him and don’t understand what it means to be American.
USA Today: Republicans were quick to rebuke the Obama administration after a third clean-energy company to receive taxpayer dollars, Ener1, filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this week.
But absent from their critique of Ener1 — which was awarded a $118.5 million grant from the Department of Energy in 2009 to expand an Indianapolis manufacturing plant — has been any mention that the electric battery manufacturer was also championed by one of the GOP’s rising stars, Gov. Mitch Daniels.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (The Atlantic): All parties agree that Ron Paul is not, personally, racist and that he didn’t write the (newsletters) passages …. As I’ve said before, we all must make our calculus in supporting a candidate or even claiming he is “good” for the debate. But it must be an honest calculus.
If you believe that a character who would conspire to profit off of white supremacy, anti-gay bigotry, and anti-Semitism is the best vehicle for convincing the country to end the drug war, to end our romance with interventionism, to encourage serious scrutiny of state violence, at every level, then you should be honest enough to defend that proposition.
What you should not do is claim that Ron Paul “legislated” for Martin Luther King Day, or claim to have intricate knowledge of Ron Paul’s heart, and thus by the harsh accumulation of evidence, be made to look ridiculous.
Megan Carpentier (The Guardian): If you told a liberal in 2008 that progressives ought to give Ron Paul a chance because he was the most anti-war candidate on the ballot, you would have been laughed out of the room … But in 2012, some prominent (and white, male) progressives are arguing exactly that. What’s changed? Not Ron Paul, that’s for certain.
…. to the women, minorities and LGBT people (and their supporters) who have paid attention to Paul’s record, it comes as little surprise that his most vociferous supporters on the left are pale and male … and their arguments stale.
…. Nonetheless, there have been calls by progressives, most notably Glenn Greenwald, to ignore all of that and more, and focus instead on Obama’s policy failings …. no policy priorities are more imperative than those – certainly not abortion, immigration rights, LGBT equality, racial justice or any other aspect of the US’s extensive foreign policy. (Greenwald, who is gay, was in the relatively privileged position of being able to travel to Brazil to circumvent Doma.)…
…. (their) lives won’t be directly affected by all those pesky social conservative policies Paul would seek to enact as president, either due to their race, class, gender or sexual orientation…..